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Paga R40 It* Salina Journal Sunday, , 1981 grist new *»j RETURNING STARTER Lisa Weltmer (22) is one of four returning starters at Sa- Journol Photo Una Central for new coach Sam Siegrist. There probably won't be a dominant girls team in the North Central Kansas League like there was a year ago. The Abilene Cowgirls coasted to a league title last season but things won't be so easy for coach Greg Wade's team this year as the Cowgirls will be rebuilding. Still league coaches feel that Abilene is the team to beat in the NCKL. Wade's team will have four returning lettermen back but only one starter. "We have numerous areas which are very questionable," said Wade. "We graduated all of our perimeter people so our guard play is definitely a key area for us." Cowgirls slower Another unusual trait for an Abilene team is below-average team speed — but that's what the Cowgirls face this season. So why is Abilene the favorite? Two of the reasons are Molly Veal and (North Central] Deann Cox. Veal is the lone senior retur- ner who must provide much needed leadership along with Cox, a junior guard. Two other junior lettermen, Lisa Stroda and Lori Park, will also give the Cowgirls experience. "We have two quality players returning in Molly and Deann," the seventh- year Abilene coach said. "Veal is certainly one of the top centers in the league, especially as a rebounder." Like Abilene, the Clay Center Tigers will also return just one senior starter. Lisa Rosenow, a 5-6 senior, can play either guard or forward for coach Dail Smith. Other returning letter winners include Deanne Benson, Jody Urban and Jan Hern. Hern, a 6-1 sophomore, should By KEN CORBITT Sports Writer Taking over the reins of the Salina Central program, Sam Siegrist finds himself having to be both a coach and a psychiatrist. One of the first tasks the first-year Mustang coach must undertake is building confidence and instilling a winning attitude to a team which has gone 1-39 over the past two years. "Our biggest problem is that we have an entirely new coaching staff and everything will be new to the girls," said Siegrist. "Some of the girls may think they can't win. We want to change that. "But our goals will be realistic. Many times our main goal won't necessarily be to win, but just to get better each time out." Siegrist is no stranger to Central. He has been at the school for 10 years, serving eight years as an assistant basketball coach for the boys team. "I got out of coaching the last two years because I wanted a little more free time," he said. "But I missed coaching. This job opened up and I thought the team had a chance to do something. I've been an assistant for a number of years and I wanted to call my own shots." One of the first areas Siegrist wants to start with in turning the program around is defense. "We'll stress defense first," he said. "We'll stick with a half-court, man-to- man pressure defense. Hopefully we'll play good enough defense to make it part of our offense by forcing turnovers and scoring off of some steals." Four starters and one other letterman return from last year's team which was winless in 20 outings. The Mustangs have good size with 5-11 junior Angie Rash, 510 junior Janet Newman, 5-7 senior Paulette Thompson and 5-5 junior Lisa Weltmer. Thompson, an honorable mention all-city selection last year, is the only senior on the roster. "We are fairly tall for a girls team," Siegrist said. "I think we'll have the size to match up and go inside." give the Tigers strong play on the boards. . A abort but quick Belleville team will have two starters and four other letter winners returning. Coach Gene Spannenberg's team will try to improve on last season's 3-15 record. Senior Karla Brokesh, a 5-10 forward, and junior Tami Rogers, a 5-9 forward, should lead the Buffs. Brokesh, who Spannenberg calls a good jumper and rebounder, earned all- NCKL honors last year. Seniors Linda Berggren and Shelley Tuma, plus juniors Carmen Hanshaw, and Sharah Olsen will fight for the other starting positions. "We will be shorter, but quicker this year," Spannenberg said. "We'll need help from our sophomore class to be competitive." Chapman coach Betty Ryan will face a rebuilding season since all-area first- team selection Sam Kasl has graduated. 1981 -82 SCHEDULE Dec. t — Cloy Center Dec. 10 — At Topeka West Dec. 15 -- Junction City Dec. 17 - Manhattan Dec. 21 - Hays Jan. 5 - McPnerson Jan. 7 -.- Topeka High Jon. 11 -- Great Bend Jon. 14 At Salina South Jan. 18-20 — At Newton Tournament Feb. 4 - Topeka West Feb. 11 — At Manhattan Feb. 15 - At Great Bend Feb. 18 . - At Topeka High Feb. 19 - At Hays Feb. 23 — Solina South Feb. 25 --At Junction City Siegrist is also counting heavily on help from junior Julie McDowell and sophomores Susie Berglund and Alicia Slay. Good depth "We should have good depth," he said. "The competition should be good at all the positions. I think it's good for a team when there are two or three people battling for one spot." One weakness which Siegrist said must be solved early is finding someone who can handle the ball. "I know last year every team used a full court press and it killed Central every time," he said. "I'm sure all the other coaches remember that, too, and will try it again this year." Another concern is the early part of the schedule. The Mustangs open the season Dec. 4 against Clay Center and have four more games before Christmas against Topeka West, Junction City, Manhattan and Hays. All of the games are at home except the Topeka West contest. Seven of the first eight games are at home and seven of the final nine dates are on the road. "I imagine we'll get off to a slow start because of the tough schedule," Siegrist said. "We'll only have 15 practices before we open — that's 15 practices for the girls to learn a new system. If we can win two of those games in December I'll be very happy. "If the girls pick things up well in December and gain a little confidence during January and early February, we may be able to sneak up on a few people late in the year." But Ryan's teams are usually competitive and this season's version of the Irish should be no different. The Irish wffl have four lettermen returning and one starter back. Cindy Kickhaefer, a 5-11 junior, ia the top Irish prospect. Kickhaefer averaged seven points and seven rebounds a game last season. "We'll lack experience so we may get off to a slow start," Ryan said. "But we should get stronger with each game." Seniors Mary Herman. Joan Schuler, and Candi Vahsholtz all won letters last season and will probably start for the Irish this year. Ryan also said that senior Ella Prey and juniors Wanda Jackson, Pam Rutz, Patti Pryor and Jane Bolliger will be counted on to provide depth. Concordia, which was picked to finish second, along with Marysville, the coaches' choice for fifth, and Wamego, picked to place last, did not respond to The Journal's questionnaire.